Long-term neurologic outcomes after common fetal interventions

Juliana Gebb, Pe'Er Dar, Mara Rosner, Mark I. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective Fetal interventions have clearly decreased mortality, but the neurological outcomes of survivors are of critical concern. Here we consolidated available data on long-term neurological outcomes after common fetal interventions to guide counseling, management, and future research. Study Design Published studies assessing long-term neurological outcomes after common fetal interventions from 1990 through 2014 were collected. We included all studies with a cohort of more than 5 patients and with follow-up of 1 year or longer. We divided procedures into those performed for singletons and for multiples. Singleton procedures included amnioinfusion for preterm premature rupture of membranes, intrauterine transfusion for red cell alloimmunization-associated anemia, intrauterine transfusion for parvovirus-associated anemia, vesicoamniotic shunts, thoracoamniotic shunts, ventriculoamniotic shunts, fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and open fetal cases by myelomeningocele and others. Multiple procedures included those done for monochorionic twins including serial amnioreduction, selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation, and selective termination. Results Of 1341 studies identified, 28 met the inclusion criteria. We combined available literature for all procedures. Studies varied in their length of follow-up and method of assessing neurological status. Neurological outcome after intervention varied by procedure but was normal in 40-93%, mildly impaired in 3-33%, and severely impaired in 1-40%. Follow-up to school age was rare with the exception of procedures for monochorionic twins. Conclusion Fetal treatments have been successful in achieving survival in previously hopeless cases, but success should also be determined by the outcomes of survivors. Except for monochorionic twins, there is a dearth of reported long-term outcomes. Standardized reporting of long-term neurological sequelae is imperative so that meaningful analysis and study comparisons can be made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527.e1-527.e9
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • congenital anomalies
  • fetal therapy
  • long-term morbidity


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term neurologic outcomes after common fetal interventions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this